First Balance: Aid to Refugees – Action continues

Since August 1 the Redemptorist parish of St Mary (MPH) in Hernals/Vienna has put emergency quarters to the disposal of refugees of war from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

During these approximately four months more than 12,000 needy people have got quarters here, catering, medical service and also a warm reception.

During this period altogether 200 helpers were in action. “This is a great evidence of solidarity and charity”, says Father Lorenz Voith, who is rector and pastor of the community in Hernals. “Many of the helpers have no or few relations with the Church and the parish, but have nonetheless offered their help and have thus managed to create an incredible network of humanity”.

During a festive service and a big celebration held in the Clemens Hofbauer Hall, we gave officially thanks to these helpers and very many of them had accepted our invitation.

During the service a Moslem refugee from Syria, who had for many weeks helped actively as an interpreter, told about his journey to Vienna, his scattered family, his flight from the war and his life … To the dinner afterwards was also invited a group of refugees, who is actually taken care of.

The Province’s Medal of Honour

The Medal of Honour of the Redemptorists of the Province Vienna-Munich was presented toseven so-called “Coordinators”, who from the beginning had assumed responsibility for the management of various sections.

The help to the refugees is prolonged

The Parish and the Redemptorist Community arrange for accommodations and put these to the disposal of asylum seekers in Austria. These families are going to be associated with so-called “godparents”, who will accompany them. Furthermore they are offered the possibility to attend German language courses. …

More accommodations for the families, who have a right of asylum and who are going to stay here in Austria, will be leased and then sublet to them.

For two weeks now the emergency quarters (including the heated day room) have been moved to two smaller rooms in a house on Clemens Hofbauer Square.

P. Lorenz Voith CSsR